Skip to main content
Press Release

Raleigh County Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Child Pornography Crime

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia

BECKLEY, W.Va. – Thomas John Mills, 37, of Beckley, was sentenced today to 30 years in prison, to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release, for production of child pornography. Following his release from prison, Mills must register as a sex offender.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Mills admitted to coercing a 15-year-old minor female to engage in sexually explicit conduct, including masturbation and the lascivious exhibition of her genitals, between March and October 2020 for the purpose of creating images and videos of this conduct. Mills had the minor take pictures and videos to send to him and also had her participate in live video chats where he told her to engage in sexually explicit conduct.

The court described the case as “one of the worst set of circumstances” it has seen.

United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force.

United States District Judge Frank W. Volk imposed the sentence. Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Rada Herrald prosecuted the case.

These cases were prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative of the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:21-cr-96.





Updated February 23, 2023

Project Safe Childhood